By Augustine Akhilomen
Nigerians have condemned the decision of former presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili for attending the World Economic Forum meeting holding in South Africa despite call to shun the event.
The former minister of education was on Wednesday pictured at the WEF alongside Zenith Bank Chief, Jim Ovia, who later boycotted the event.
Many Nigerians across social media platforms, especially Twitter, however condemned her decision.
“Madam Oby is the last person I expect would go to a WEF in South Africa that everybody has concluded Nigeria should stay away from,” wrote a Twitter user, Henry Okelue. “I am really surprised that she of all people would do something she would have spoken very strongly against if somebody else did it.”
Another handle tagged PDP Vanguard tweeted: “Obviously, Madam Oby can sell her destiny for Cameras and dollar! There’s no justification whatsoever for her to accept the invitation if as clueless as @MBuhari can do the needful by boycotting the kangaroo WEF. Shame!!!”
Wale Adetona, tweeting via the handle @islimfit, described the former presidential candidate’s conduct as ‘hypocrisy’. He wrote: “This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Imagine if the government had not taken the decision to boycott WEF, the likes of Madam Oby and co would have done thread enough to sew agbada.”
Another user tweeting via the handle @7even10en said Mrs Ezekwesili does not represent Nigeria at the forum. “Madam oby, you’re there on your own and not as a Nigerian. #WEF #StopXenophobicAttacks #Xenophobia,” the user tweeted.
In a slew of reactions, Mrs Ezekwesili argued that she was at the forum to ensure that the South African government takes decisive steps in putting an end to the attacks against Nigerians and other Africans in the country.
She tweeted: “Those who have genuine concerns about my being at @wef in South Africa, should please know that my decision to be here was thoroughly considered. I am in South Africa leveraging my (sic) ensure that @GovernmentZA never again looks away while our citizens are attacked, maimed & killed.
“My Life Vision is to always stand for the weaker. This is a role I play within & without Nigeria. For me, the next three days in South Africa are programmed to achieve a set of specific action by the @GovernmentZA. Our Citizens’ preservation is what matters to me not the noise.
“Those of you who take delight in making ‘Politics’ of our Citizens’ Lives can carry on with your usual trade. I stand strong on doing the things one can do to safeguard lives. Citizens’ Lives are too sacred & important for me to be drawn into your latest ‘playground’. Never.”
The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.